Day 658: Day Two, Part II

writers block

I’m gonna admit.

I’m almost at a loss today about what to write.

After yesterday’s commitment and post, everything seems so… NEW! I feel almost like I’m starting over. And I just have so. much. to. say.

You might be thinking, Awwwwwww, that’s so sad. But it’s not! It’s so totally wonderful. You see, that’s what I love, Love, LOVE about Christ. We get to try again and again and again. Sure, there might be consequences that come from us doing it our own way… for example, I can barely fit the “consequences of eating terribly” into my jeans, but I don’t get kicked to the curb or told “Sorry, that was your one chance. No more for you.”

I get to start over if I want.

But now I’m wiser.

And now I’m closer.

Closer to a size six?

No.

I’m closer to HIM.

And He is the garment that I want to wear anyway. I want His spirit to cover me so completely that my size doesn’t matter… that food doesn’t matter… that nothing else matters but Him and blessing the world with His Love.

Day 624: New Covenant

I will give you back your health

I’ve heard the New Testament referred to as “The New Covenant” before… I guess since Christ started a new covenant. (Read this part of Hebrews 8:6-13 and Luke 22:20)

And I’m sorta… re-thinking what The Covenant Diet really means. Ya know, it started out as a year-long covenant just to eat what was basically a Daniel Fast/Daniel Plan (vegetarian, low grains and dairy, and no sugar). And in summary, if you are just joining me, I lost a bunch of weight, felt extremely free from food, was bolstered spiritually, and felt that God really could do miracles.

And I felt that God had really done a miracle in me.

Then. The end of my covenant year came and I decided to start to slowly reintroduce sugar into my diet. I realized very quickly that I had a very “all or nothing” attitude with sugar (which shouldn’t have been a shocker, I’ve been that way for yearrrrrrs). After months of struggling and fighting food and fighting overeating and fighting sugar, sugar, sugar… I have come to a new spot of covenanting with God.

It’s my “new covenant”.

And it’s not necessarily about a commitment to eat/not eat particular foods, but a commitment to Him to always pursue health. Even through the struggles and beyond the triumphs. Whereas before I started The Covenant Diet, I really had given up and I certainly didn’t associate my food issues as anything that was in any way related to God.

But, if anything, that one year of freedom has completely changed me… because now I KNOW the freedom and can’t go back to slavery again. So, I stay determined and confident that God will take me through this.

And I say that to you too. God will take you through this.

God will give you back your health. Jeremiah 30:17

Day 506a: Childish Conviction

I know I’m on my 30 Day Infusion, and although I have had several things that I have wanted to write about over the past week or so that were “negative” I have held back in the effort to focus on the positive things that God wants to infuse into my heart.

I am made for more!
I am royalty!
I am new!
I am cherished!
I am strong!
I am chosen!
I am complete!
I am loved!
I am unfinished!
I am capable!

But what happened this evening, well… it is an override.

Okay. A smidge of background information: Small truth first. Well, big nasty ugly truth.

I have officially lost about 89% of the control that I’d had and have reverted back (big time) to my former self and my former ways of eating. I have been ignoring the voice of the Holy Spirit that has been trying over and over again to lead me down the right path. I have purposefully chosen to go out of my way to eat sugar and chocolate. I have been eating “okay” for two or three days and then just “tasting” one little thing on the third day and then it just goes downhill from there.

Well. Actually… if we are being TOTALLY honest here, I have been eating junk for about three days straight. Always thinking, “Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll get back on track with God.” And always knowing, “No. you. won’t.”

Usually I’d have felt guilty for still writing with a positive focus, like as if it weren’t real… and well, it sorta wasn’t “real” but I just kept telling myself, “Keep infusing yourself with the wonderful, great, positive things that God has said about you and provided for you and eventually it will push out all of your own negative voice. Just keep on keepin on, January.”

So I did.

But I also kept on eating chocolate.

Anyway, this afternoon, my son and I went to the library and then to the grocery store. He asked to get some little cookies as a treat and I caved and then he asked to eat them in the little eating area and I caved again (he is really beyond precious… it’s almost impossible to tell him no). So, as we’re eating up in the little balcony eating area, he took one of the cookies out of the case and said, “So mom, how many more days until you can have sugar again?”

I sorta stumbled over an answer akin to “Oh, I’m… I’m not sure” because, of course… OF. COURSE. I have been doing all of this chocolate eating by myself. Sneaking it to and fro. Shoving it in my mouth when I hear little feet coming down the hall. Silently waiting until my husband is on the phone. So, he doesn’t know that all this time I’ve already BEEN eating sugar.

Gosh, I felt such a tug at my heart.

Butttttttt, not enough of a tug to keep me from eating two of those cookies when we got home plus another cookie that I had stashed, okay, okay… HIDDEN… in the pantry.

{And here it comes… the part where God spoke through my child.}

So, after dinner the boys asked if they could have some Cookie Crisp cereal for dessert. We haven’t had a “junk” cereal in the pantry for a while, so I guess it’s like an extra special treat for them. I said yes, poured them both bowls, and then decided, well… Cookie Crisp cereal is actually totally gross to me, but it’s sorta like eating a cookie and since I’ve already eaten all of the cookies then I might as well eat this too.

Poured myself a bowl.

My son: Mom, are you going to have a bowl, too?

Me: Yeah. Yeah, I think I am.

Son: Well, you know you’ll be breaking your promise to God right? Do you want to break your promise to God?

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKAY.

Was. not. expecting. that.

Instant tears.

I paused for a moment… a zillion responses running through my mind while he looked at me… our eyes connected… his gaze was unflinching… and I knew what I HAD to do. For him. For me. For God.

Me: No. No, I don’t want to break my promise. I think I’m just gonna pour it back in.

Son: Okay. Good.

Me: Thank you. Thank you for helping me keep my promise.

And I poured the cereal back into the box. Annnnnnnd, went over and hugged him. Annnnnnnd, took his picture with his Cookie Crisp.

Annnnnnnn, then took the picture of my other son with his Cookie Crisp because he wanted in on that picture-taking-action!

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It was all JUST what I needed.

You know, there are about a gazillion times in a sinners life when we are not ready to get called out on our sins. We just lash back because, I dunno, I guess we are in a sense of denial or buried in our shame. But every once in a while, we are ready. longing. hoping. needing. for someone to call us out.

Thing was… I wasn’t listening to God anymore. And I was hiding it from everyone. So, God had to speak to me through my child {and yes, I am totally bawling right now as I write this… out of thanks and humility and hope and gratefulness}. Through my innocent child who won’t know for years and years to come the impact of that little tiny question when he was a little tiny boy.

Honestly, I think the main reason it grabbed my attention so much wasn’t because of my son seeing me eating junk. It was because of my son watching me. waiting to see… would I follow God.

All of my words up to this point. All of my teaching him. All of my prayers over him. Ev.er.y.thing. hinged on this moment. Would my actions SHOW the truth I had been giving him all this time?!?!?!

Oh and I thank God that He gave me the RIGHT answer. the RIGHT words. the RIGHT action.

But as I stepped back into my day, those cookies were still there. I still desired them.

And guess what?!?!? Good news people… guess what kicked in?

The positives!

I am made for more!
I am royalty!
I am new!
I am cherished!
I am strong!
I am chosen!
I am complete!
I am loved!
I am unfinished!
I am capable!

And those cookies have remained untouched the rest of the day.

And, well, I reckon… I won’t be the one finishing them off this time.

Day 483: Way, Way Out

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Looking back at my last post, Day 481: Black Sabbath, I realized that there were so. very. many. “outs” that God gave me to not have to take that downward plunge.

My husband saying “Get a pizza for you.”
Not previously having had any wine in the house.
The moment at the store where I thought “I could get something else entirely.”
When my husband hung out in the living room longer so I had to wait to sneak out the cookie dough.

God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13

He was all over it… on my behalf. And, honestly, I saw the signs then too. I knew that He was giving me a way out, but I was so determined to do wrong at that point that I just ignored all the lifelines He was throwing at me.

But Monday was another day entirely… a new day… with new mercies. And then this morning I was going back through my bookmarks and came across this one:

God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. Philippians 2:13

It’s so cool when the Word of God expresses just what you need to know, just what you need to hear, just what I needed to be reminded of.

And ya know… this post is pretty short and sweet, but honestly, there isn’t a whole lot more to say about it! That last verse is what I’m gonna focus on today.

Day 476: Smoothie Queen

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Several weeks ago, I was getting ready to go to Sam’s to get our monthly load of cashews, shredded cheese, almond milk, coffee, and diapers. Ya know, the necessities. Well my man walks up to me and hands me a hundy (a $100 bill… his Christmas money, I believe) and tells me to go get a Ninja blender.

I know, right?!?!? How awesome was THAT?

After he watched that documentary, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, we tried multiple times to juice but the clean up is so laborious that we only managed to last a few times. I started thinking that maybe the Ninja would be more along the lines of what would work for us since it is basically a “blend, rinse, go” kind of deal. And I thought that it would be a good birthday present for him (back in February) but alas, I figured that being such an avid musician he would probably prefer the iTrack that he asked for, like, two days before Christmas when I had already bought him all of his gifts. So, my parents got that for him for his birthday instead of a Ninja.

Perfect for him. {Sigh.} for me.

Anyway, I guess I couldn’t stop talking about it so he wanted to get one for me. But since we only have one car he wasn’t able to ever get out and surprise me. Every time he leaves I’m all Where ya going? Why? Cause we need more milk. Are you going to the store and can get some milk? Uhhhhh, sure.

Surprise… ruined. So, he figured it was just easier to let me go and get it and pick out just what I wanted.

So. sweet.
So. smart. (The whole “pick out whatcha want” thing!)

And I started making us smoothies in the morning. Truth be told, I’m not much of a breakfast eater.

Wait. Hold that. I’m a HUGE breakfast eater.

THAT’S the problem.

eggs. bacon. biscuits. pancakes. waffles. gravy. hash browns. parfait. sausage. fruit. cheesy grits. orange juice. sweet rolls. muffins. coffee.

It’s all golden. I love it. Love it ALL.

Not a good situation for a glutton.

So, breakfast is usually something kind of low-key for me… granola. fruit. yogurt. grits if I’m going crazy. oatmeal if I’m desperate.

BUT NOW… I’m the smoothie queen! I love the things! And I would love to post a bunch of recipes for you, but so far this is what all my recipes would be….

Lazy Woman’s Quick and Easy Breakfast Smoothie

Ingredients

  • Bag of mixed frozen fruit
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Water or Almond Milk

Instructions

  1. Dump some frozen fruit in a big cereal bowl and defrost just a bit in the microwave for 30-45 seconds on 30% power.
  2. Dump it in the Ninja with a little bit of water or almond milk.
  3. Blend.

It’s just good… tastes like getting a dessert for… BREAKFAST.

But instead it’s ACTUALLY like eating a bowl of fruit for breakfast… a big bowl.

AND since I prefer to put in water or almond milk instead of juice it keeps the calories or sugar or whatever lower (I’m assuming… since I don’t count or track any of that stuff!)

Win. WIN. WIN!

Okay, so I hate to say that I have zero spiritual connection for this one… I dunno, I guess I’ll just throw this one out there for ya as an extra.

Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. Colossians 1:10

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Day 474: I Am On A Diet

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I’m gonna admit it.

I’m on a diet.

But I don’t want to be.

I want to be on a covenant.

Well, more accurately: I want to want to be on a covenant.

But I’m on a diet.

I decided to do a little Daniel Fast for a few weeks until my brother’s thirtieth birthday weekend. But really, I’m gonna be honest with ya. It was just cause I wanted to lose some more weight. It had nothing to do with God other than I picked a “diet” from the bible. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still think he’s telling me to “go back to the beginning” like I mentioned on Day 464: Out Of Options and I still think that eating a Daniel Fast-type-diet is the way to go for me… it’s just that I’m having some difficulty standing by it cause it was more about ME and so not about HIM.

If it were about Him, I’d like to think that I’d been relentless about not eating meat, about not eating bread, about eating fruit and veggies, about going to the grocery store to get some real food supplies, about cooking Daniel Fast meals.

But relentless, I have not been.

{I blame that little yoda moment right there on the fact that I’m writing at 4:40am.}

And I’m not here to beat myself up. I’m here to lay it out there. Cause I’m on a journey. And a journey has a lot of deviations from the path. I’m still heading in the right direction, but sometimes I get diverted off the highway. or I think I’m too worn out and I need a pit stop. or I’m just too. dern. tired. to go any further. So, now I realize how much I need His Power. His Spirit. His Life.

Realizing that again, gets me back on that highway. It gets me focusing on The Thing that matters again.

God. The Word. The Holy Spirit. The Forgiveness of Jesus Christ. The Calling to be a Blessing to the World.

Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Galatians 5:16

So, Holy Spirit… guide my life. I don’t want to do what my sinful nature craves. Guide my life. Guide me. Guide my mind. Guide my actions. Guide my thoughts, my hopes, my fears. Guide me to God.

Day 466: Hungry Hungry Hippie

So, lately I’ve been really wanting to pull myself and my family further away from processed foods… I know, I know. That is just so trendy right now. I mean, who doesn’t want to pull their family away from processed foods?

But gosh- soooooo much easier said than done. Especially for someone who is not much of an accomplished cook in the first place, and then double that for someone whose minimal cooking skills revolve around a bunch of “Cream of _______” dishes. Plus, I’m not much of a hippie type… I mean, I like roughing it out in the country, but only if there is a Walmart within driving distance to get the stuff I need. So, this whole “do it all yourself” thing is gonna be a big switch for me.

In an effort to make this endeavor something I don’t burn myself out on too quickly, I have decided to start very small and thought I’d begin with homemade granola bars. I found a recipe on Pinterest that sounded doable and so I modified it a bit and then tried it a few weeks ago. Delish. My processed-addicted 5 year old son loved them. So, I made them again a couple of days ago and bam… nailed it again.

{Look… aren’t they pretty? And this is pre-baked!}

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I packed those beautiful granola bars all nicely in my best piece of tupperware and stored them in the fridge and smiled at myself each time my son requested one and I could far more easily say “Yes, you may have one of these pretty-good-for-you homemade granola bars!”

Until… yesterday.

I got so hungry at lunch time. Weird, right? What a concept. But it was the kind of hunger that caught me a bit off guard; it sorta came out of nowhere. And I didn’t really have a plan for what to eat nor a lot of easy options… so, I ate… a granola bar.

And I sorta sigh and shake my head at myself as I write that.

But… what’s wrong with a granola bar, January?

Nothing.

Unless… you’re doing a Daniel Fast that restricts several of the ingredients in the granola bar.
Unless… you’ve made a covenant with God not to eat sugar for five years and there are m&ms and mini chocolate chips in them.
Unless… you’re not eating A granola bar but MANY granola bars.

Yep, that’s right… I didn’t just eat one granola bar to ward off my hunger. I ate five granola bars to ward off my hunger.

And then at dinner I had the nerve to feel so proud of myself for not eating the BBQ pulled pork I cooked for my visiting brother. And proud again as I just ate enough and felt so satisfied. Well, YEAH, I felt just so satisfied with my little meal… I’d eaten enough oats and peanut butter in those bars to last me a week!

{Sigh.}

This morning, however, I sit here and cross my arms (cause despite it being late April it’s a little chilly) and think… Well, what lesson did I learn from it? A couple, actually.

Reminder One: This is a journey, January. By now you should have learned that this whole process of healing and renewal is not going to happen on your timeframe. Calm down. Learn lessons. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

Reminder Two: Have pre-prepared, easy to make/warm up lunches for days like these. Like, yesterday was a “I need to nuke it” kind of lunch day. Not even my avocado and tomato salad would have been right for me (despite it’s deliciousness) because it took a whopping five minutes of “work” to make it. So, this week, I’m going to prepare five freezer meals for myself along with a list of Daniel Fast-friendly lunches to glance at when my brain is kaput.

Reminder Three: It’s not about WHAT food you’re eating if you eat TOO MUCH. (One of these days that’s actually going to sink in!)

Reminder Four: God’s love never ends. His mercies never stop. They are new EVERY MORNING. (Lamentations 3:22-23) And He will give me wisdom to come out of this. He has healing in his wings that all I have to do is reach out and touch. He knocks down strongholds. He reaches down with his strong arm to save. God. is. good. Even my granola bar gorging can be worked out for His Good Plan.

Yep. I feel better now!

Day 459: more. More! MORE!!!

I recently had a facebook message “conversation” with an old friend about my covenant. And well, there were just some parts of the message that I felt would be beneficial to share.

He is growing me so much through helping me overcome… such a journey. His message through me has so little to do with weight and food and so much more to do with me becoming less (in the spiritual) while He becomes more in my life.

It’s hard to understand often the horrible oppression I have felt from “just food” over the span of my life. A terrible, heavy burden… unconquerable. I have so often identified with the bleeding woman… nothing could release me from it save the touching of His garment, but up until the past year I had not the courage to reach out and touch.

But during the time I have been on my covenant journey with Him, I have found such a sweet freedom as I have never known in my life: freedom from that suffocating and all-encompassing burden. So, as simple as it might sound to just give up coffee or food, know that, for me, it is not just something neat, or fun, or even spiritually trendy… it is a battle. And for now, this is where I find myself on the journey.

Perhaps a lot of these words I’ve already said over the course of these 459 days, but I found it so… cathartic to say them yet again. To remind myself of the crushing feeling of despair. To remember the hopelessness each time I failed to be stronger than the pull of food. To refresh the pain of accepting that I was simply just “one of those people” that would struggle with food my whole life.

And cathartic to bring to light again the freedom that I have felt. the hopefulness. the salve over my aching and wounded heart. and the new identity that He has infused within me.

Because, here’s what’s cool… “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). And don’t just discount that phrase. For years, nay… for my. entire. life. I have read that word for word but my mind and heart have HEARD this:

“We are more than conquerors…”

Yeah. I just like knocked out two words of the verse mentally. “We are conquerors.” I mean… I was okay with that and all. Being a conqueror… that’d be, ya know, cool. I’d sorta picture myself on a mountain wearing Roman armor with a flag or something blowing the wind while I looked off at the horizon. Annnnnnd, that was about the end of that little (yes, weird) daydream. But look at it again the real way…

“We are more than conquerors…”

Think about that… more. we are MORE than just a conqueror! I mean, being a conqueror is pretty dang awesome, but yo… we are MORE. We don’t just win the battle… we go beyond that! I’m so encouraged by knowing that simple thing. Even if tomorrow He healed me permanently of this sin of gluttony… if tomorrow I was officially a conqueror over gluttony… that’s not the end-all be-all. I am MORE than just a conqueror!

I… I… I don’t even know what that would make me… I don’t even know what is “more than conqueror”, but hey… the thought of being simply a conqueror is so enticing, I can only imagine how amazing it will be to find out what the job is on the next rung of the old spiritual career ladder!

Which leads me to paste in the very end of my conversation with my friend:

I know, so much more keenly now, that God has called me to much more than just salvation… that was just a pinpoint in my life. Now I am to find my purpose in His Kingdom so that I might be a blessing to the world.

And THAT. that is what it means to be more. Because THAT is really and truly THE call of a follower of God. That through us, through the promise to Abraham, that through us all families on earth with be blessed (Genesis 12:3).

Ya know. That makes me want to be over and done with this gluttony stuff. It makes me ready to move on to being a conqueror. It makes me ready to be MORE.

{This was the closest thing that I could think of to a time in my life
where I felt like my dream of being a conqueror…
I had hiked (in flip flops, mind you)
through this dense rainforest in Costa Rica
when on my Spanish immersion summer,
and we ended up at this natural waterfall. It was… uh.maz.ing.}

Costa Rica Waterfall

Day 443: The Post Where I Sorta Tell You What God Said

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Okay, I won’t wait too long to “reveal” the conclusion that God and I came to this past weekend since I wouldn’t tell you on Day 441. Ha!

It didn’t take much of God’s influence for me to know that my oh-so-brilliant plan of eating sugar on full moon days, national holidays, and at birthday parties was a total flop. And, I have to confess, that was allllll my idea in the first place. I never really asked God about what He thought I should do. Yeahhhh, sooooo… apparently that’s never a good idea. Ya know, to NOT ask God what He wants to do in your life.

Essentially, I realized that the more lenient I was with myself and in my covenant with God, then the more I struggled with sugar. It was totally opposite of what I thought would be the case! Nutritionists and counselors frequently give the advice: create balance in your life… you can’t be extreme. Which, on paper… totally. makes. sense. And honestly, I truly WISH that were the case for me. But, well, it’s not. Cause… whether or not my body is truly addicted to sugar, my MIND is. And when I started to really come to grips with that this weekend is when I knew that the on-again, off-again “covenant” I had made up was not going to work.

A girl at the retreat was talking about her husband after he sobered. He said that he had found booze all over the house… he’d even found some in the ATTIC that he’d hidden! And I laughed and giggled a bit at that, and then… I started to think of all the times that I’d hidden sugar. And especially since I switched over to the on-again, off-again covenant.

Extra candy from Christmas stocking stuffing that only I knew existed… tucked away in the craft box. The “good” candy from Halloween (Twix, Snickers, Milky Way, etc)… slid all the way back behind the extra olive oil in the pantry. My son’s leftover cupcake from his 5 1/2 birthday party at school… disguised as old leftovers in the very back of the top shelf of the fridge.

When I gave up “control” over my eating for those couple of weeks, I went and hit every. single. spot.

Again. I might not be physically addicted to the stuff… but, I was ACTING like an addict.

I talked about it with this girl later. She, too, had been an alcoholic and has been sober for quite a while now… her secret? She never touches the stuff. Ever. She won’t ever have another drink. She said “There is never a time where anything good comes from drinking alcohol.”

And she was right… and I knew that the same truth, really and truly, applied to sugar. Yes, there are good moments surrounding the eating of sugar (birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, etc) but the actual eating of sugar… nope. nothing good actually comes out of it. (Now, mind you, when I say “sugar” I’m talking about the refined product that we use today… not at all about fruit-kind-of-sugar… that stuff is awesome!) And the last year has taught me that eating sugar during those special occasions isn’t necessary to have a good time at them. (Ha – doesn’t that sound like someone realizing that they can have a “good time” without alcohol?)

During that conversation, I mentioned that I was starting to feel pulled to giving up sugar… forever. And honestly, at that point I was totally on board with it. At first, she thought that idea was a little wack, but as I explained that it wasn’t that I just really, really wanted to give up sugar… it was that I felt I HAD to give up sugar. I was responding to the stuff like an alcoholic! I wanted to not have the stuff, but if I allowed myself one bite even… days after it would all fall apart and I’d be back at my old-binging self again!

It was like God had cured me of cancer or something the year before, and here I was saying, “No God, why don’t you go ahead and give it back to me?” CRAZY. But that’s what I was doing! I had been freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee from sugar for a year. And it was amazing! One of the most amazing years of my life! And then I had said, “No, God, put me back in chains… I want to be a slave to the stuff again.”

Nutso.

So, I started to pray that God would show me… no sugar forever? no sugar for a year? What was His plan? Not my plan. Because I no longer wanted to be a slave to sin. to gluttony. to pain. to sugar. I wanted to be a slave to Him.

And these verses speak so well to all of this:

Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.

Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. {Oh man, this guy just GETS IT!} Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy.

When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For sin will pay you back with death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:15-23

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One thing I do want to mention – I don’t want anyone to think that I’m saying alcoholism and/or drug use and a sugar “addiction” are the exact same beast. I know that the struggles involved in alcoholism and drug use are of an entirely different nature. What I am saying is that I experience some of the same reactions to “fighting off” sugar that addicts experience. But please don’t think that I’m downplaying the extreme battle that an addict must fight.

Day 432: An Attempt To Give Advice

I’ve had several new and old friends feeling pulled toward a covenant diet lifestyle lately and I’ve gotten several questions about it. A lot of the questions pertaining to foods are answered in the pages Get Started and What I Eat. But there are some “highlights” that I tend to want to impress upon people that are starting… things I’ve learned over the past year and a half.

{And honestly, I got a little derailed about halfway through my second “tip” because of a battle of the spirit going on inside me.}

Start Small. I know this seems opposite from what I did last year with committing for a full year (which was a BIG commitment), but I had already done a three week Daniel Fast the year before (a relatively small commitment). It’s not that God can’t work in a big commitment nor is it that He doesn’t want a big commitment. On the contrary. I found my greatest blessings in the long-term commitment. But, MY heart, soul, and mind needed to stay small at first. Sometimes we need to see God in the little things to have faith in the big things. So, start with a three-day fruit fast, or a three-week Daniel Fast, or whatever.

Be Hard Core. Whatever you and God decide to do… go at it all the way. No halvsies. Give Him ALL OF YOU for those three days, those three weeks, those three months. If you say you’re not gonna eat bread for three months then be above reproach about it- crackers… they are pretty much bread. tortillas… those are bread. biscuits. rolls. hot dog buns. bread. bread. bread. Don’t try to “convince” yourself that something isn’t bread when you dadgum know that it is. The moment you give yourself a little bit of “wiggle room” then Satan will wiggle his way on in there. This has been my hardest learned lesson. Over and over again I have to fight my mind’s conniving tricky ways to slide past the covenant agreements.

Even now I sit here, every few minutes, my eyes shifting over to the candy basket at my mother-in-law’s house… trying to figure out the loophole that would enable me to have one mini-Twix. Just one. That’s all I’d need (says my mind). Just a taste. It’s a special weekend. A special day. Just one.

Heck, just writing this fact down helps me to avoid it.

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But honestly, I could finish this little post and turn off my phone in a minute and walk over there to the candy. You would never. even. know.

I have to talk to God about it. That’s what it all boils down to. It boils down to… well, to…

God.

God’s power.
God’s help.
God’s spirit.
God’s Word.

God.

God. I want that candy. It’s not part of our agreement, but I want it anyway. Help me God. Help me to not eat it. Help me to resist it. Make me willing to obey.

But more than that God, help me to choose You. Help me to long for you as I long for that candy. Transfer that lust for the things of this world into a passion for You. I know those candies won’t satisfy whatever it is that ails my heart right now… whatever this is that makes me willing to rebel against You. Pride? Greed? Lust? Control? Anger? I don’t know what it is, but Lord God, I want You. I want to choose You. I need You to empower me with strength and discipline and self-control. These just don’t seem to be traits that came with my DNA! And so I have to rely on you to give them to me through The Spirit. Overpower me. Overpower my will. Make me like You want me so that I can honor You and glorify You with my life.

Thank you Jesus for how far you have brought me. Thank you for the opportunity to strive to be more and more like You. Thank you that my salvation rests in none of my successes or failures but in the assurance that You have taken all of my successes and failures and offered yourself as worthy when I could never be really, truly worthy.

Wow. Jesus. I love you.

Amen.

And guess what? The candy basket was empty. Ha! A blessing in disguise, I guess!

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